IPSO issues guidance on prominence for editors and journalists

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has today issued guidance for editors on how it uses its powers to require due prominence in corrections and adjudications.


Under the Editors’ Code of Practice, editors must correct inaccuracies and other issues promptly and with ‘due prominence’. ‘Due prominence’ means that the remedy is published in an appropriate and proportionate way to the breach of the Code.

The guidance is designed to raise editorial standards by helping editors to understand how IPSO applies “due prominence”, and what to expect if a complaint to IPSO is upheld.

IPSO has the power to force newspapers, magazines or websites we regulate to publish a correction or an adjudication if they breach the Code, including the right to dictate the words used and to specify their size and placement.

Taking away an editor’s right to choose the content they publish is a serious sanction which tells readers about the publication’s editorial failure, provides redress for a complainant and acts as a deterrent to future breaches of the Code.

Decisions about prominence are specific to the individual circumstances of each case but the guidance sets out the factors which IPSO’s Complaints Committee may consider when making decisions on the prominence and is illustrated with a number of case studies drawn from IPSO rulings. 

The guidance also explains how IPSO decides when to require front-page remedies.

The guidance can be seen in full here and follows IPSO’s guidance on researching and reporting stories involving transgender individuals and on publishing information from social media.

Matt Tee, Chief Executive of IPSO said:

“IPSO’s power to compel editors to publish a correction or adjudication using the words we determine, in the font size we decide and on the page we dictate is an important part of how we show the seriousness of an editorial failure. This guidance sets out IPSO’s approach to prominence for its 2,500 regulated publications and we hope it will be used by all editors to help raise editorial standards

He concluded ”When Sir Joseph Pilling published his independent external review of our work, he recommended that we “… should produce guidelines on its application of ‘due prominence’ and we are therefore pleased to issue this guidance in accordance with that recommendation.”